Julie and Julia on board for “Dexter”


For Dexter fans still mourning Rita (Julie Benz), we have some news that may cheer you up a bit: Benz will return to Dexter next year — as Rita.

Wait, what? We all saw Rita dead at the close of the season finale. The scene was so explicit that we likely will never forget it. But we learned this week that Benz has signed on to reprise her role in the first episode of Dexter Season 5 this fall.

No details on how this happens, but producers have assured us that she is not returning from the dead. All we know is what a Showtime rep told EW: Rita will “help Dexter deal with his newfound feelings of loss and grief — emotions he has never really felt before.”

I have to confess that Rita was not one of my favorite characters on Dexter, but I’m always glad to see Benz.

EW also reports that Julia Stiles is in “advanced talks” to play a major role in the show.

We’re not sure what the role is yet, but new Dexter showrunner Chip Johannessen told Ausiello that she won’t be a serial killer. “We’re not going to have a single Big Bad this season,” he said. “We don’t want to try and top John Lithgow, so we’re going to change up the forces that Dexter’s going to be dealing with.”

Actually, a female serial killer would be awesome — and Stiles is perfect for that kind of part. She could render victims motionless just by speaking. Sigh.

The speculative buzz on the web suggests that she might play Rita’s sister, which wouldn’t be a stretch, appearance-wise.

I’d love her to have a meatier role than that, like a detective who suspects Dexter of killing Rita. But I also kind of like ScreenRant’s idea of Stiles being a live-in nanny that creates another obstacle to Dexter’s “hobby.”

Of course, in my dream world, Stiles brings Deb out of the closet (finally) and they live happily ever after.

Hey, on Dexter, anything can happen.

What do you think of these casting developments? Any predictions on Julia Stiles’ role?

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